“Between 7 and 7:30 p.m. tonight, nearly a dozen DCFD and MPD vehicles were at intersection of Georgia Avenue and Webster Street, closing off Georgia between Varnum and Allison Streets, as well as Webster between Iowa and Kansas Avenues. We heard what sounded like a police megaphone outside for a few minutes, so we poked our heads out and saw this.
According to one first responder that I spoke to, it was “just a small kitchen fire,” at 908 Webster Street, but it’s easy to see from some of these photos that there must have been enough smoke to soot up the side of the attached home. One bystander noted that none of the home’s windows had been busted and there was no smoke left in the air, so they must have responded quick.”
Council Member Tommy Wells called it “an indictment of the management and maintenance of our Fire and Emergency Medical Services fleet – of our fire trucks and ambulances.” Below is the official DC Fire EMS press release and comment from Paul Quander, the District’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice:
“The District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (DCFEMS) released a study by BDA Global that examined the department’s current fleet capacity and management practices.
“This study was a significant step in correcting some of the problems that have plagued our fleet division for years,” said DCFEMS Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe. “The recommendations in this report will help us become more efficient and responsive in our operations.”
The report includes a comprehensive assessment of several major issues which include:
· Fleet inventory
· Maintenance and repair operations
· DCFEMS policies and procedures related to fleet operations
· Reserve apparatus requirements
· Training and certification of fleet maintenance personnel and facilities
More than 100 recommendations are offered in the report with some of them having been implemented by the Department prior to its release. One key recommendation implemented was the hiring of “a professional, civilian fleet director” to lead the apparatus division.
BDA Global, a District-based consulting firm that specializes in business process improvement, emergency management and continuity planning, was selected by the Department in July 2013 to conduct the audit.
“There are many observations and recommendations in the report. It should be noted that in the report, it states some of the addressed issues date back 15 to 20 years. Some recommendations are short-term in nature and others are intermediate. While still others are long range. Chief Elerbe has already taken effective measures that have dealt with some of the most immediate issues. The goal is to fully assess the report, then develop a comprehensive, transparent and measurable implementation strategy.”
“Councilmember Tommy Wells, Chair of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, responded to the Fleet Audit Report released by the District’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS). Wells will hold an oversight hearing on DC’s FEMS next week, on Wednesday, December 4th.
“This audit report is an indictment of the management and maintenance of our Fire and Emergency Medical Services fleet – of our fire trucks and ambulances. The audit shows that there is not an accountable system to ensure that our fleet is repaired, accounted for and replaced.
“The Administration has recently procured new ambulances, but this report does not give me confidence that they have a system to manage and maintain the new or old vehicles, or to know when they will need to buy more.
“The audit report shows that it is taking DC 20 times longer to repair vehicles in our fleet than it does for similar jurisdictions and cities across the country. There are only 369 vehicles in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services fleet, while MPD has over 1600 vehicles that they have been able to track and maintain in a timely and cost efficient manner. I would like to see FEMS be able to do the same.
“This is about public safety and accountability. The vehicles and equipment are very expensive and are paid for by the tax dollars of District residents. Our ambulances and fire trucks are critically important to public safety and need to be in the best repair possible so they can quickly get to residents in all parts of the city.
“The audit provides an oversight baseline to ensure that the Administration is replacing, repairing and maintaining the equipment in a responsible way for the citizens of DC. The city needs a radical restructuring in the way they manage the fleet, and I look forward to hearing the Administration’s plans and ideas at my oversight hearing next week.”
I came home Tuesday night to find a decent sized blaze had taken hold on the pile of leaves that had gathered along my fence (raked on Friday, resistance is futile).
Some good neighbors had already stopped and called the Fire Department when I got there, but I was too consumed with trying to make sure the fire didn’t spread further to get their names.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m grateful to live in a neighborhood where people look out for each other. These Good Samaritans will certainly be in our thoughts and my wife and I would like to send them a token of our appreciation.
If you could post this and help connect us, we would greatly appreciate it. Happy Thanksgiving DC!
Inhabitants of the Green Monster, who are also thankful for the fast response of DCFD and MPD.”
“The D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (DCFEMS) announces the launch of its mobile app for Apple, Android and Windows devices.
“Smartphones and other mobile devices can help people access a lot of information quickly,” said DCFEMS Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe. “This app is another way for people to interact with the Department and get information that can help in an emergency.”
The app contains safety and emergency information for users that includes:
• Steps to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR);
• Steps to perform abdominal thrusts;
• Steps to create a family emergency plan;
• Finding the nearest engine company based on your location;
• Evacuation routes to exit the District; and
• Updates from DCFEMS Facebook and Twitter feeds
The app was developed in partnership with DataNet Systems Corporation, a District-based information technology firm that focuses on application and software development solutions for government agencies.
The app can be downloaded for free at the following locations (click links):
Thanks to a couple of readers for sending. One writes at 1pm:
“The brand new pop up on meridian in Columbia heights near 14th… Happening right now. Looks like they were able to put it out, but the flames were massive.”
The other writes:
“The Scarface-style pop-up condos at 1429 Meridian Place just caught fire. DC ladder trucks responded and extinguished, but it looked like there may be pretty significant damage. The top unit is currently under contract. Combined total list price for the two units was 2,000,000.”
There was a fire last night at T and 7th NW. This is behind that new brewery next to Howard Theater. My friend said people watching the firefighters putting it out said it might have been started by a port-o-potty. Cue jokes about gas.”
“Just got in from work and see this fire burning on the roof of the factory next to the lofts on Lamont…
It was pretty ugly a few minutes ago but seems to be under control now.
Three are 5-6 fire trucks and a dozen or so firemen in the scene. The block is currently closed to traffic. No word on injuries.”
“The DCFD are responding to a fire in the 700 block of Lamont St. I was working on my front porch on Keefer Pl. when I looked up and saw smoke coming over the roof of the new building on the SW corner of Lamont and Georgia, shortly after a helicopter came over from the medical center and EMS started to arrive, they had it out in less than 15 minutes. Very cool to watch, they put firefighters on the roofs of all the surrounding buildings to fight it and keep it from spreading, they are starting to clear out now.”
“Update – 700blk Lamont St NW – 1-story warehouse, fire in cockloft, extinguished, checking for extension, 2nd alarm staging”